Virtual Reality or Augmented reality is the merging of computer technology with human technologies such as video, audio, text, etc. The end result will be computer generated content or Virtual Reality. One example of Virtual Reality is the lucid dream state. Lucid dreaming is a state where a person can see themselves flying in helicopters, walking through the park, riding a roller coaster, whatever one may imagine.
Another form of augmented reality technologies is the use of video goggles to project images into a user’s eye location in real-life surroundings. This creates the sensation that the images seen are real. Augmented reality technologies are being used in many medical fields to help visually impaired people see things that their eyes could not otherwise see.
Some popular applications of augmented reality technologies are Google Glass andoculars. These work by using a thin lens that fits into the eye to allow you to see things behind objects. For example, when you look up you will see the world from above and everything will be very clear. You will also be able to make facial gestures and interaction with other people in the environment. A lot of companies are exploring new uses for these technologies. They are doing research on the psychological effects of Virtual Reality and are trying to come up with methods of teaching people how to have a true “presence” in the surrounding environment.
Video gaming is another application that is quickly taking advantage of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. The development of headsets that act like a glove gives you the ability to virtually manipulate and control game controls while you are playing. The next step up from this may be full body wearable video game controllers that give the player a realistic feel for handling various game functions. The ultimate game that will incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality is still a few years away. Right now it is basically a gaming headset that offers you hand-held interaction with a computer screen.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are also expanding into the world of smart phones. Smartphones with camera and other basic applications already have a touch screen interface and the ability to capture pictures and videos. Soon it may also be possible to add voice recognition, text-to-speech, weather reports and the ability to make calls through your mobile phone. There are also technologies being developed to allow you to browse the internet via your smart phone. This is only the beginning, but already there are applications for GPS navigation, augmented reality and smart glove that are being used by merchants to increase their store sales.
Even with smartphones having replaced mobile phones, there are still many parts of our lives that we cannot completely take for granted. In fact, there are plenty of augmented reality technologies in development to replace the need for bulky and space-consuming computers. Think about self-driving cars and helicopters. Medical imaging is another area where advanced technologies are making real a lot of progress. These are just two examples of how augmented reality technologies are making life easier for the average person.
Another exciting application of virtual reality is using headsets to travel around in. You may have seen the demos at games like Pokemon. The headsets allow you to move around and view the scene from a third-person perspective. By moving around you can see the parts of the scene that you cannot normally see, such as the surroundings of battles or other characters. There are even some headsets that let you virtually fly through a city like you would in an airplane, using the 3D technology to zoom around.
Virtual reality technologies and augmented reality technologies will continue to advance. They are already changing the way we play computer games and watching video. Imagine what it could do for communication. With more improvements in technology coming out each year, this concept will only continue to grow in functionality and use.
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